Monthly Archives: June 2017



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NIOH – Done and loved it

“The Demon King Revealed” is the final (and best) mission in the game and is my go to farming mission when I need to gather more amrita to level up.

Love that my character gets rendered into the cut scenes ( in whatever it is I chose to wear and wield/shoot).

My end game stats.

I’ve finally finished NIOH, and man it was awesome, so much so that I even kept on playing into New Game+ and I’m the one who’s starting to help other players level up now at shrines.

I’ll just leave some punchy afterthoughts:

– The lore. Man, Japan.

– The orchestral soundtrack is so deep; juxtaposing demonic rumbling loops to zen tranquility on stage screens helps to set the tone so well I had to leave it on (I usually turn music off in games).

– “The Demon King Revealed” mission is so good I’ve played it daily since finishing the game, also “The Iga Escape” mission makes all your Ninja fantasies come true.

– Just when you think you’re done, the game gives you more and more sub-missions. Easy 100 hours (can’t be sure as PS4 doesn’t track your game time… silly I know). That’s being a completionist though (yup that’s me!).

– Best melee action game I’ve ever played as the stances and combos give you so much more than just button mashing. Feels good to play but not as connected to the controller as “The Surge” (which felt SO good).

– Hardcore RPG (more complex than most RPG games I’ve played) but totally intuitive. The game is so well paced. When you spend amrita on levelling up, or gold at the blacksmith post mission you’re always left with a little bit within reach of the next upgrade, so in you go again and again. It’s super addictive!

– Summoning visitors at shrines for help, or helping others (and never knowing what mission or stage within a mission they need help with) is a huge part of the game for me. I prefer playing NIOH with a companion than without (the missions with NPC companions are absolutely awesome too!).

– Just can’t get over low res textures/graphics on the PS4. I really really wish this game came out on PC.

– There’s no “base” or “home” and I wish there was.

– I would have loved this game even more if I could create my own character.

– It’s awesome that you can re-skin any piece of armour or weapon in the game at any time, but the thumbnail previews are so small, a live preview would really make dress-ups more fun.

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I was in Tokyo in the 90’s and saw a construction site plastered in OBEY posters. Not knowing what it was, except that it look fucking cool, I took a shot. Years later I found out the artwork was created by LA based Artist Shepard Fairey, who has roots in graphic design and skating (it all makes so much sense as his OBEY GIANT graphic speaks skate culture so loudly).

I have a signed OBEY GIANT artwork framed above my television (Obey the TV/Television the drug of a nation), and I’ve got a couple of Shepard’s books too. I don’t consider myself a fanboy of many, but I’m definitely a huge fan of Shepard Fairey and all he’s done (if it was me I’d love to see the word ZEN in place of OBEY!).

The magicians at aMBUSH Gallery managed to get him in to do a huge wall across the road from The Ivy in Sydney’s CBD (it looks amazing!), and last night they held a little VIP event where Nanami invited me to be her +1 to meet the God amongst men!

More photos on ZEN Blog:

PS: Yes that’s Jamie Durie!!! A mate of mine was outside the event, and managed to get in as he expressed interest in buying artwork for a future development, he then introduced me to his mate who turns out to be Jamie Durie. He was way shorter than I thought he would be (and I let him know LOL!). Such a rad guy, great vibes, had a great little chat with him.

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Sadly Nioh is for PS4 only, that means jaggy low res graphics! Such a shame, this game would look amazing with high res textures on PC.

Love the loading screen lore, the cinematics and illustrated movies too.

Japan (the map).

One really cool thing you can do at the blacksmith is change every bit of your appearance to any other piece of gear you’ve looted in the game, both armour and weapons too so you can pretty much make William look however you want, from heavy Samurai gear to Ninja outfits (I’m wearing medium Samurai Warrior armour but my character looks like a Ninja atm).

How mad is my rifle! I’m right at home with more and more different RPG’s now and I’ve really taken to Nioh’s interface, the whole lot of it; crafting, re-calibrating, merging gear, distributing skill points for opening skill trees, etc. Nioh is pretty hardcore and has the works.

I really really enjoyed playing The Surge, so much so played a complete 2nd new game+ playthrough. I now feel content and I’m well and truly done with the game, which makes me feel sad so I thought I’d look into other games in the same genre; namely Dark Souls, Dark Souls 3, Nioh and Lords of the Fallen (which was made by Deck13 the same guys who made The Surge).

I spent some time researching Dark Souls. I’d say it’s 50/50 out there between fans of the original verses the last. The original seems to suffer from clunky mechanics, which wouldn’t fly after playing The Surge (I loved how connected the action felt) and issues with Windows 10. Dark Souls 3 seems like the obvious choice, but I’ve been waiting for a Steam sale to pull the trigger on that.

I did some research into Lords of the Fallen as I figured it would share a lot in common with The Surge as it’s made by the same team. The reviews suggest it’s a little too easy to complete, and recent reviews suggest that gameplay isn’t as tight as The Surge, so I’ve put this game on the wishlist for a Steam sale too.

That leaves Nioh, a game which many compare to Dark Souls but suggest it’s even more brutal, and where the others are rooted in the Lord of the Rings style realm, Nioh differs in that it’s SO Japan (SO GOOD!).

The game follows the adventures of William (based on real historic figure William Adams, the first legit non-Japanese Samurai who forever changed Japan) and is loosely based off the Sengoku period, when Japan was in the midst of war prior to the ascension of the Tokugawa shogunate (so rad as this brings back recent Japan trip memories!).

I’m literally being educated in the art of Japanese weapons and Samurai armour. I’ve even been introduced to Hattori Hanzo and I’m smashing Yokai with a Kusarigama!

Progress has been slow but I love to grind. You can’t get to the recommended levels by just completing the main missions and side missions, it’s true RNG/RPG so I’ve needed to grind pretty hard in order to play more comfortably.

I’ve had more than a few “I quit” moments. Like most I almost quit early on as the 2nd Boss battle in Nioh with Hino-enma was sadistic (those who know know!!!). It’s so wild that a game introduces new players to the hardest boss in the game on the 2nd level. I’d say a huge percentage of people who bought this game would have returned it/given up before getting to enjoy the rest of the game!

Update: I’m 2 stages away from the end, each new section of the map has been way more hardcore than the last and I’ve just about had enough of the massive boss fights so I’m calling a tie out to maybe re-visit some older parts of the map before finishing my first playthrough.

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